Thursday, February 16, 2012

Help! What do I tune out?

Today the news is full of a congressional hearing at which an all-male panel discussed religious freedom and women’s access to reproductive health care. No women allowed to speak. I don’t know where you stand on the entire issue. I know where my heart lies. But that isn’t my point today.

What it raises for me today is the idea that there is so much going on in the world around us that can raise our stress level. We are surrounded by heavy-duty issues. And we hear loud voices screaming at each other over a chasm that widens and deepens by the day. Incivility runs rampant. Disrespect is everywhere.

Out-of-control stress
I don’t know about you—but it all increases my stress level. A lot. As I’m all about reducing my stress these days, I’ve been thinking about how I make choices about where to “spend” my energy. What action shall I take (or not take)? What do I tune out? And on what do I choose to spend time and energy? We know that whatever we focus on becomes larger, so making wise choices that are right for us is essential.

I believe in advocacy, in speaking out for causes in which I believe. I don’t believe in simply being passive about what happens in my world. But I am learning to make intentional choices. I am learning the value of the Serenity Prayer: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

In these challenging times, you need to be especially mindful of your stress levels and of what things absolutely need your attention and which do not. I invite you to pay attention to your choices today. There is nothing wrong with speaking out, with being political, with working for causes, with taking stands. Just be sure you make a choice that’s right for you.

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